Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Cup Runneth over for Athletes, Coaches, Fans

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Cup Runneth over for Athletes, Coaches, Fans

Article excerpt

This is a delectable week in which our sports plate runneth over.

Seldom in history and never recently has there been such a delicious panoply of major events in such a short period of time. For all of us for whom our three favorite things in life are sports, sports, and sports, we feel like we do when we approach a buffet that includes 13 salads and 43 desserts.

We are overwhelmed and addled because it all looks so fascinating. As do sports in this time. We've got Michael Jordan retiring. All he has done is define excellence; all he is is the best basketball player ever. Yup, better than Magic and better than Bird. He led the league in scoring 10 times. His last shot ever torched Utah in the NBA finals, wrapping Chicago's sixth NBA crown in eight seasons. To go on and on about Jordan does him a disservice. Jordan was about action, not words. He dazzled us. Was he the fortunate one, to be making more than $30 million a year? Naw, we were the fortunate ones because we got to watch. Then, at the same time, the Washington Redskins were being sold to three investors for $800 million, the highest price ever for a sports team in North America and $270 million more than the expansion Cleveland Browns cost last year. Not bad for a franchise that was 6- 10 in 1998 and hasn't been to the playoffs in six years. Jack Kent Cooke, the venerable owner who died in 1997, ordered the proud Skins sold with a charitable trust to be established to help children. This meant his own son, John Kent, became a child without a team. There's a lesson there boys and girls: Be very nice to your parents, especially if they're rich. Then, the baseball Mark McGwire hit for the record-setting 70th home run last season was auctioned off to an anonymous bidder for $2.7 million, plus a $305,000 commission. That's 23 times the previous record. The ball that runner-up Sammy Sosa hit for his 66th homer, went for $150,000, quantifying how much more we like winning over second place. Then there's the growing and increasingly disgusting disclosures about the skullduggery Salt Lake City engaged in to get the 2002 Winter Olympics. There's an array of accusations and admissions involving cash, gifts, scholarships, medical care, and more, all under the broad umbrella of bribery. …

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